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Sweet Addiction
by Rhonda Leverett

by Rhonda Leverett

I recently enjoyed the thrill of my first ever congratulations-we-will-pay-you-for-words letter, from the anthology, Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul.

Like most writers, I had pondered the first sale and what it might mean. Would there be a break in the nightly news heralding my success… at least a community parade with sparklers?

Not exactly, but close. Congratulations trickled in from friends and family, with best wishes for my career. My neighborly street grew abuzz with the low-down. I even scheduled a book signing and my writer’s group got behind me. That day, I sold 22 books I’d purchased at the author discount rate. The chocolatier sponsoring my event donated a nice door prize, so I could collect addresses for my e-mail list. There were balloons and free chocolates for everyone.

For five hours, I was a local celebrity.

But on my big hoopla day, after all the balloons got popped and we went home, I changed to sweats and did four loads of laundry. I watched my two year old grand-daughter cuddle bunnies at the pet store. I cooked a spaghetti dinner.

Cheers are great, but I found out I’m not in this for the fame.

I deposited the two-hundred dollar check, after my husband made a copy to be framed, plus the lagniappe from book sales, then sat with a cup of tea and smiled at the whirlwind of excitement created by one easy-to-pen vignette. The best part was getting paid. Grins and giggles and warm fuzzies are nice, but we could use the extra money. And all this time I thought the big deal of my career was sitting at my desk, turning words this way and that, watching the light bounce off them just so. With my adoration for words, you might think I’d do this for free—Nah.

Already, I’m heady with future prospects. I’ll purchase my own paper and ink for one. I might just buy groceries each week from my earnings. Maybe take my husband on a cruise… Now where’s that gigantic Writer’s Market? Nothing’s stopping me from getting started on the next thing as soon as I’m done here.

Yes, I’m finding publication for pay to be a bit like fine, dark chocolate—a sweet addiction. I want more!

© Copyright 2008, Rhonda Leverett

Rhonda Leverett writes from The Woodlands, Texas, where she lives with her family and surrounds herself with writer friends. Since Chicken Soup, she has landed additional freelance gigs and continues to work on her first YA, coming-of-age novel. Check out this writer's exciting life at rhondaleverett.com and 247autism.blogspot.com.

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